Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette Review & Swatches

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I knew I held off on buying individual Ambient Lighting Powders for a reason! Hourglass just released their Ambient Lighting Palette online last week and you bet I placed my order as soon as I saw it up on Sephora website! I received it 2 days after and I've been using it everyday since. I didn't quite get the appeal before but now I can honestly say I am a true believer! This palette was so worth the wait!

And please be warned – since it is such a pretty palette, I took a ton of pictures just for this post. You all know how much I enjoy taking good photos so please be patient while the page is loading! :)

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette (note the front of the box)

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette (note the back of the box)

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette is a limited edition palette for the Holiday collection and comes in a sleek and sturdy packaging in their signature metallic dark brown color with the name Hourglass in gold. The palette is quite small, narrow, and a little thick but it's super lightweight which makes it great to carry with you for travel. There is a good-sized mirror inside that spans the length of the lid. Applicator is not included but it does come with a travel size bottle of the famous Veil Mineral Primer.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette (in its protective cushion foam)

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette (front)

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette (back)

The palette features 3 shades of Ambient Lighting Powders:

  • Dim Light – light peachy beige
  • Incandescent Light – pearlescent light pink
  • Radiant Light – warm golden beige

Dim Light and Radiant Light are permanent shades while Incandescent Light is a new, limited edition, and exclusive shade for this palette.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

If you haven't tried Ambient Lighting Powders before and are a little confused as to what they actually do – well, they are basically soft-focus finishing pressed powder that can be used all over the face or in certain areas of the face. Each shade acts as a different light source to create different lighting effects on your skin. It's a pretty neat concept, it's like having your own specific light source wherever you go!

Dim Light

Helps blur small imperfections on the skin and adds subtle radiance to the overall complexion. I like to dust this all over my face for a soft, airbrushed effect and also around my eyes to minimize the look of fine lines. Wrinkles and pores really seem less noticeable with this light.

Incandescent Light

(My favorite of the three!) Highlights and brightens the skin to give you that “glow” from within effect.  This shade was designed to work best in the office lighting. It is suggested as a cheekbone highlighter but I find it works just as great as an all over face powder, too. It looks rather shimmery but it doesn't emphasize any pores or make my face oily at all even when I use a “heavy” hand. It really is a stunning shade!

Radiant Light

Adds warmth, sun-kissed glow to your face to mimic a summer glow. Since the shade is slightly on the “golden” side, I like to use it as a light bronzer to add warmth and color back to my face. It's the hardest color to see the effect of since it's so close to my skin tone (NC30) but the difference is definitely there – it's just very subtle.

You can also mix and match the powders together too to create even more lights! On a normal day I'd dust Incandescent Light all over to give my face a lovely, subtle glow, then I use Dim Light right around my eyes to soften lines and wrinkles, and I finish with Radiant Light on the hollow of my cheeks and temples to lightly contour my face.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette comes with a mini size Veil Mineral Primer

These powders are ridiculously soft and extremely finely-milled – they literally feel like silk on the skin. I find it best to use a less dense brush such as MAC 187 (stippling brush) or fan brush to apply. It's almost impossible to overdo so don't be afraid to add a little more than necessary. The only problem I have with the palette is each pan literally sits right next to each other so when I swirl my brush into one of them, the powder gets “smoked” and falls into the next pan. It isn't a deal-breaker, obviously, but the thought of powders mixing together bothers me just a little bit. My fix is to flip the palette face down and lightly tap the bottom of the palette to rid the “smoked” powders off each pan. Easy and very doable fix! :)

You can use it as a setting powder immediately after your foundation but I prefer applying it over my regular setting powder. My regular setting powder will keep my face matte while the Ambient Lighting Powder will add a natural “glow” back to my face. You can also apply it over your blush too to diffuse or soften the color. These powders are so versatile, the possibilities are endless! It's definitely becoming a part of my makeup routine!

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette; L-R: Dim Light, Incandescent Light, and Radiant Light

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette; L-R: Dim Light, Incandescent Light, and Radiant Light

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette; L-R: Dim Light, Incandescent Light, and Radiant Light

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette; L-R: Dim Light, Incandescent Light, and Radiant Light (on NC30)

Dim Light

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette: Dim Light

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette: Dim Light

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette: Dim Light (on NC30) thick (L) and thin (R) swatches

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette: Dim Light (on NC30) thick (L) and thin (R) swatches

Incandescent Light

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette: Incandescent Light

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette: Incandescent Light

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette: Incandescent Light (on NC30) thick (L) and thin (R) swatches

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette: Incandescent Light (on NC30) thick (L) and thin (R) swatches

Radiant Light

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette: Radiant Light

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette: Radiant Light

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette: Radiant Light (on NC30) thick (L) and thin (R) swatches

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette: Radiant Light (on NC30) thick (L) and thin (R) swatches

One aspect I'd like to touch on is the amount of product that comes in the palette. The individual full size of each powder retails for $45 for 0.35 oz / 9.92 g while each pan in this palette contains 0.116 oz / 3.28 g (so total x3 is 0.348 oz / 9.84 g) and retails for $58. So you are getting ~ 0.002 oz / 0.08 g less but you are paying $13 more. Seems like a lot, but remember you are getting a variety of 3 shades in this palette AND a deluxe size of the Veil Mineral Primer, that to me is a pretty sweet deal. Plus, you get to see and feel the difference between shades, too. The full sizes are nice but it's hard for me to shell out $45 for a single pan and that's why I had held off on purchasing them. With this palette, I didn't even have to think twice. My only wish now is that Hourglass comes out with more palettes with different shades! :)

If you haven't tried any of Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders before, there is no better time! It would make a lovely gift for the Holiday too but you have to act fast as I have a feeling they will sell out quickly considering Sephora's 20% off sale event is coming up later this month!

BUY ▶ US$58 | NordstromSephoraHourglass // Thailand ฿2,650 | Sephora

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